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NAS for consolidating movie database???

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Need help, please from experienced AVS forumites! Please advise on the best solution for a relatively IT illiterate guy...

Want to tidy up and consolidate my 7TB of movies (mainly mkvs) + 0.5TB of photos + 30Gb of iTunes music.

Current setup:

PS3 +
MyGica v5H - media player with latest Realtek 186, connects to:
a) one of 3 x 2TB WD Elements USB external hard disks
b) 1 x 1.5TB USB Internal hard disk (located in an eGreat m31b media player)
c) Sony amp for 5.1 DTS/Dolby via Coaxial or Optical
d) Projector via HDMI 1.3
Wireless N router

I would like some unified storage solution with some backup functionality (especially on the photos), but also some redundancy on the Movies.

Would a Synology be a viable solution and what configuration of RAID would give a best price/performance solution?
Synology would be connected by wire to my linksys wireless N router, which would then transmit to the MyGica or PS3.
Does the Synology allow streaming of mkvs with DLNA with Dolby/DTS sound preserved?
Will wireless N be ok for 1080p mkvs streaming?
The Synology GUI looks quite user friendly and has an array of useful backup processes and access to the server's files from the internet.
Alos, I really would like to have a unified movie jukebox. I think XMBC runs on Synology ok?
post #2 of 9
First off, what's your budget? Synology NASes can get expensive quick. Synology NASes would do exactly what you're looking to do.....storage, check!.....streaming, check!....XBMC, nope (at least I don't think so), but check into Plex (http://www.plexapp.com)......low power usage, check!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Budget about usd 1000. The main concern is that it can still achieve the required performance for watching movies as per my existing setup.
post #4 of 9
Well the capacity is really the big cost here, any dirt cheap basic NAS can do the job but as you get into 4+ bays the prices rise very quickly.

You have three 2TB hard drives, you could cannibalize those and purchase another for 4 2TB drives in a RAID5 array for a mixture of spanning and protection, you wont have 8TB's a your disposal more around like 5.5TB free space from that & even the cheapest Synology 4 bay the DS413j would suffice.. If you need more storage space then your probably going to have to get a higher end box and Synology only do 5 bays on the very expensive DS1512+ though it can be expanded via an additional module.

Netgear just announced a brand new line of NAS, their 316 model comes with 6 bays, it might be cheaper than Synologys DS1512+ which goes for around $900. I'd ignore pre-listing prices on the Netgear they aren't available just yet but due next month.
post #5 of 9
As a simple server, just about any NAS device will do from a performance perspective, however, if you want to stream to multiple devices with any kind of transcoding (like Serviio or PLEX) for devices that may not be able to handle the source format, then you want a processor that is powerful enough to handle the transcoding task., like an I3.
post #6 of 9
You have approx 8TB of content as of now, lucky for you Seagate has just come out with reasonably priced ($190) 4TB drives that are suitable for NAS use:
In a minimal RAID5 array you'll need four 4TB drives- that will give you about 11TB of storage for $760- you should be able to make the rest of the system for under $400 which would only put you $160 over your $1k budget- as long as you use a free OS for the NAS like NAS4Free (http://www.nas4free.org/) or similar.
If you want to future-proof a little and care to invest in one more 4TB drive for $190 you'll end up with over 14TB of storage at that point. It's a lot easier to start with a five disk pool rather than having to "grow" the four disk pool later.

I don't do any transcoding- I have dedicated media players at my TV's so I have no idea if NAS4Free can do transcoding or if you even really need transcoding.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by avswilier View Post

Budget about usd 1000. The main concern is that it can still achieve the required performance for watching movies as per my existing setup.

I use a Synology 1512+ with the 5 bay DX510 esata expansion for backup. I run Plex and increasingly Video and Audio station on the Synology. I previously used 2 WHS systems. I can't say enough about the Synology. Just great. Plex works great to my Rokus, Sony GTV, and iDevices. Plex will act as a DLNA server to your PS3. Not sure what happens to audio though. The Rokus don't have a lot of power but they Direct Stream mkv's just fine. There should be minimal transcoding required to your PS3 so the Atom cpu in the Synology should be fine. Well worth the extra money and they have a great warranty.

From my iPhone I can run DS Video and direct whatever I want to the Sony GTV box or our Apple TV3. The video doesn't play on the iPhone but goes directly to the units via DLNA/AirPlay respectively.

Power consumption and noise levels are very low on the Synology. Start with the 1512+. You can always expand later.

The Synology plays well with all platforms. Great NAS in my opinion.

post #8 of 9
For disks, watch the 4tb externals to save a good bit of cash. They are easily opened to insert into a server or nas. This one was as low as $140 just a few days ago. It's back up to $172 at the moment. Use a site like camelcamelcamel.com to set a notification, they'll email you when the price drops to a price point you specify. This way you could get 4 x 4tb for about $600. If you use software raid like flexraid you'll give up one of those as a parity drive leaving you 12 tb. For your size of a collection, and with drive prices where they are, I think it would be a mistake not to go for 4tb drives at this point.

Or, depending on how anxious or not you are to dump cash on this project, maybe just get a couple 4tb drives and keep using your 2tb drives and put them all together. Then add/replace drives in the future as needed for capacity increase.

xbmc isn't a server so it doesn't run on the nas, it's a front end. You will easily be able to point it at any media on your network.

NAS boxes are very expensive, may be better off building your own at your price point. You may have a pc in your home already that could handle the task, might just need a bigger case to house all the drives.
Edited by sievers - 3/22/13 at 3:42pm
post #9 of 9
I'd recommend buying a NAS if you're looking for an easy to use/manage device if you're not into building your own system for this purpose. you can find the DS 1512+ for $800 at Amazon, maybe cheaper elsewhere. the 1512 will give you 5 drive bays, plus expansion capability if needed in the future.
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